Monthly Archives :

February 2017

The return of Seska!

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Seska visits Caty and Miri at the Exchange all the way from Izbekistan to tell us about his show ‘Seska and the Magic Beard’. He’s been up to a lot since last year’s Fringe including meeting royalty, the mayor of Reading and sawing a woman in half (unsuccessfully).

Listen to the podcast here!


FREE THE FRINGE- Saturday 15th August

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It’s the weekend, which means you’ve got no excuse for not letting your hair down and enjoying a bit of free entertainment around Ventnor! 

There’s an absolutely massive lineup in the Woodland Bar, with entertainment of all forms, all day from dawn to dusk. As usual, there will be art and bushcraft workshops as well as yoga sessions with Maitri in the the morning and early afternoon. The music lineup begins with dream-pop duo The Diamond Age ahead of their gig at the Ventnor Arts Club later this evening. They will be followed by the likes of David Littleton, The Delinquents, Slombers Woke, Dave Smith and Cherry Taylor. Whilst all this is going on, outside in the Woodland Bar area will be performances from Kamala Tribal belly dancers and Tilly Twist hula-hoop performer. Closing the evening in the Woodland Bar is the ever-brilliant Ventnor Darlings with an extra-special Ventnor Fringe set!

The Observatory has a bill to match with performances from David Littleton, Tom Francis Turner, Music Craft and Island City Music. There will then be a break in events to make way for the Ventnor Illuminated Carnival extravaganza! So make sure you head on down to the main town so you don’t miss any of the action. The carnival afterparty in The Observatory will be hosted by DJ Kaftan to keep you dancing on into the night!

There will also be a few special performances in the Exchange from David A. Ballard with poetry, Will & Si and the Fringe Review’s very own Poppy Janella! 

Renowned for its performances in strange spaces, Poppy will also be playing a pop-up show in the launderette at 8pm. The perfect opportunity to wash your clothes and listen to fantastic music!

Lock In

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What has quickly become a hotly anticipated Fringe regular, The Lock In never fails to enthral. This year we were treated by the wonderful JJ Bola and Rex Domino at our Woodland Bar last night. JJ Bola returned on top form after his emphatically well-received set at the fringe the year before. Tears, laughter and everything in between was received in abundance after a truly thought provoking performance, leaving audience members with more than enough to think about. Rex Domino, go-to MC for DJ Yoda, also provided a thoroughly enjoyable set and really is one to look out for! 


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We caught up with Charlie Pullinger and Aaron Lee of garage-rock band BullyBones after their blistering performance in the Woodland Bar yesterday.

Q) How did the band initially form?

CP) Me and the guitarist Aaron were friends and started playing guitar bits with each other. We decided to form a band and advertised for a bassist in the paper- we found Illy! Elliot, our drummer, stepped in to replace the previous one.

Q) Who would you say your music is most influenced by?

CP) The Cramps, Iggy & the Stooges, The Doors, Duane Eddy and anything garage or rock ‘n’ roll.

Q) What do you like about playing at festivals?

CP) We like the relaxed atmosphere around the site. We played two sets at the Isle of Wight Festival earlier this year in the JackRocks and Hey Joe tents which was great!

Q) What has been your most memorable moment whilst playing in the band?

CP) Probably guitarist Aaron breaking his foot. We had to help him up a set of stairs before he had to go on stage at a venue in Newport, sat on a wheelchair. 

Q) How would you describe the Fringe in three words?

AL) Intense

CP) Rad… and free.

Thanks very much lads for taking the time out do this interview!

Interviewer: Luke Joynes

Film Festival

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That’s right, Holy Grail stuff baby, the one and only Isle of Wight Film Festival is back and better than ever. Founded in 2007 as a local competition, it has now expanded into an international festival showcasing an extremely high standard of work from across the world. Drama and Documentary Feature films compete for the coveted On The Wight Best Feature Film Award, whilst shorts contest for the Rapanui Best Short Environmental Award, Whatever Pictures Best Drama Award and the Amnesty International Best Human Rights Award. Films are being shown daily on an HD pop up screen in the Sacred Cinema.


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An interview with Joan Ellis

Last year you were here reading extracts from your book, I AM ELLA.BUY ME. you’ve done a lot since then. Do you want to tell us a bit more?

Yes I’ve written 3 more [books], two of which were psychological thrillers. I was quite happy writing chick-lit which is what ‘I AM ELLA. BUY ME’. is and then I met a murderer on a train from Waterloo to Portsmouth.

A murderer?

Yes, a murderer.

Legitimately, you’re telling the truth?

Well, yes. He told me that’s what he’d done and I had no reason to disbelieve him.

He scared the living daylights out of me and people said well why didn’t you get up and move seats and I thought well, I was quite scared of him and I didn’t want to antagonise him.

So I just thought I’d stay calm and keep him calm and pray, and having survived the 90 minutes he asked me to run away with him at the end of the journey.

Obviously I passed on that kind offer.

But I thought I need to write a book about this.

So that is the opening chapter to The Killing of Mummy’s Boy.

What kind of things was he saying to you?

He was telling me a lot of things that only he could have known having been in prison having done what he’d done and having then led the type of life that he had outside.

Is that not something you’d report to the police?

He’d served his time and was out on some kind of licence.

He could have been just fantasising but I wasn’t about to argue with him, he had a great big rucksack.

So in a way you did run away with him…

Yes perhaps I did.

You’ve also written two others. You’ve got GUILT and THE THINGS YOU MISSED WHILE YOU WERE AWAY which is quite convenient for this interview…


Having written THE KILLING OF MUMMY’S BOY, which is set mainly here on the Island, I enjoyed writing the twists and turns that a psychological thriller needs and coming up with an ending that nobody could guess.

I wrote GUILT which is based on a true life tragic event and it’s about a little girl who’s left alone with her younger brother and he dies in her care. She has to discover the truth about what did happen and find out the truth about herself, her parents, and what really happened that afternoon.

It sounds like a very unhappy book but it’s got a really uplifting ending.

Then I wrote THE THINGS YOU MISSED WHILE YOU WERE AWAY which is based on a column I used to write about my little girl when she was so small she couldn’t stop me writing stuff about her. I was a single parent to my daughter, my mum was a single parent to me but it’s basically saying that everything is going to be fine, you don’t have to be a part of a traditional, nuclear, 2.4 children and a dog family to be happy because love, as you know, comes from lots of unexpected places to fill our hearts.”

If you want to hear the rest of this interview go to

Joan will be giving a reading from four of her books, looking at the female characters and their natural development in each story tonight @ 7.30pm in The Scout Hut. 

The Review Show 2015: Joan Ellis ‘A Woman’s Wit Wisdom and Pratfalls’

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Have you ever met a murderer on a train? Joan Ellis has. Find out more on this podcast (click the link!)…  


The Review Show 2015: Joan Ellis (‘A Woman’s Wit Wisdom and Pratfalls’) by The Ventnor Fringe on Mixcloud


Get your tickets for ‘A Woman’s Wit Wisdom and Pratfalls’ from the Exchange, our media team know first hand that Joan is a very interesting woman with a lot of stories to tell!

Find her at the Scout Hut on Saturday night at 7.30pm.

Lonely Hearts Column #3

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Slightly vertically challenged, ABSOLUTLEY ADORABLE young lady wants to know the answer to the following questions…

  • Do you enjoy tweed?
  • Do you feel life is better with red wine on tap?
  • Do you find yourself in the odd Shakesperian play?
  • Do you have a pulse?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then I will be willing to consider your application to be a doting suitor. Please drop a post it note through the artist registration window at The Exchange with your vital statistics and phone number. I’M WAITING FOR YOU. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. 

Note from the Editor – Someone please respond, she hasnt let me leave the press office for three days. For god’s sake PLEASE SOMEONE MALE RESPOND. 


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Do you have the following symptoms:

  • A joyful, almost hysterical feeling of fatigue?
  • An insatiable hunger for hash browns?
  • A new found pleasure in puppetry?
  • Mismatching socks?
  • An alter ego which has taken the form of a pelican?
  • An obsession with crustaceans?

If so – DON’T PANIC!

Fringe plague is mostly harmless. Mostly.

We have asserted that patient zero was a Mister Jack Whitewood. He has been contained and we hope this outbreak will clear up by Sunday night, maybe Monday morning.

If symptoms persist, head straight to The Ventnor Exchange and have a swift import beer…maybe an Island Roasted coffee…maybe browse the vinyl…maybe buy a ticket to something nice…

All will be well.

The Review Show: Thursday

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Miri talks to Hazel and Katharine from Gaudy Bunting at the Exchange this morning ahead of their second show at Ventnor’s Pier Street Playhouse. The pair talk about The ‘How to Never Forget Anything Ever Again’ Show, the inspiration behind it and being women in theatre.

Click the link below to listen:


The Review Show 2015: Thursday (Gaudy Bunting) by The Ventnor Fringe on Mixcloud